Happy Birthday, Orlando Patterson

Orlando Patterson is a sociologist at Harvard University known for his work regarding issues of race in America. Patterson took his B.Sc in Economics from the University of London and his Ph.D. in Sociology at the London School of Economics in 1965.

Earlier in his career, Patterson was involved concerning the economic and political development of his home country, Jamaica. He served as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1972 to 1979. (Wikipedia)

As a novelist, Patterson is best known for The Children of Sisyphus, a novel that depicts ghetto life in Jamaica and which I count as one of the major influences on my own novel, Benjamin, my son.

Here is a quotation from a my short review on Amazon:
Orlando Patterson's Children of Sisyphus set the standard for social realism in Caribbean fiction. He does not romanticize the lives of the poor, nor does he damn them with neglect; rather, he gives their lives dignity.

This is the moral tightrope that all Third World writers face: the choice between compassion and brutal honesty. Patterson succeeds in this fine portrayal of the lives of the poor that is imbued with grace, despite their mean existence.

Give thanks, Orlando Patterson!

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JIC, you missed this in the Comments:

Hope readers of this blog will be glad to know that just at this very moment the scans of Orlando's Children of Sisyphus are open on my laptop and being retypeset in preparation for reissue early in 2009. Geoffrey is absolutely right. Sisyphus still reads immensely powerfully. The sadness is that what he writes about is not history.

Jeremy Poynting, Peepal Tree Press

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Comments

Jeremy Poynting said…
Hope readers of this blog will be glad to know that just at this very moment the scans of Orlando's Children of Sisyphus are open on my laptop and being retypeset in preparation for reissue early in 2009. Geoffrey is absolutely right. Sisyphus still reads immensely powerfully. The sadness is that what he writes about is not history.
Jeremy Poynting, Peepal Tree Press
Jeremy, this is great, great news!
I am looking forward to this...

Peace,
Geoffrey
eemanee said…
I love the Children of Sisyphus. i had a very old copy here that i couldn't find, try to get one on amazon only to discover it was out of print and a used copy cost nearly US$100. glad to know that it will be in print soon!
eemanee, mine fell apart. a book can take only so much scotch tape and wear. I am delighted with this news...

Blessings,
Geoffrey

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